Salt-Baked Chicken, also known as ‘Yim Guk Gai’ or 盐焗鸡 is one of, if not the, most famous Hakka dishes, originating from Southeast China. It captures the spirit of the nomadic Hakka people, who often used ingredients like salt and preserved vegetables in their food to make the most of the scarce supply available in their rural mountainous environment.
The traditional dish is also a great hit in reunion dinners. It’s not difficult to see why, when it combines tender meat baked in hot salt with the savoury goodness of spices. The grand process of unwrapping and cutting it at the table is not unlike the tradition of carving a turkey during Thanksgiving.
So, ready to start cooking your own Salt-Baked Chicken? Chef Wong Chong Yew of The Straits Estate, VE Hotel & Residence has a recipe for you! Here’s what you’ll need.
[A] For the chicken marinate:
10g Himalaya salt
2g Sha Jiang powder
2g white pepper powder
20g oyster sauce
5g dong quai
5g chicken stock
10g spring onions
15g star anise
10g cinnamon stick
[B] For sautéing:
40g cooking oil
50g chopped ginger
30g chopped garlic
30g chopped onions
5g sha jiang powder
10g coriander leaves
10g spring onions
1. Prepare all ingredients.
2. Rub chicken with salt, then marinate chicken for three hours. After washing the chicken with water to get off excess salt, marinate with ingredients [A], and then wrap chicken in parchment paper.
3. Heat up rock salt in wok at 150°C and bury chicken in salt.
4. Bake chicken for 1 hour, then remove chicken from salt.
5. After allowing chicken to cool for 10 minutes, cut chicken.
6. For the sauce, prepare and sauté ingredients [B] in oil. Once fragrant, add water, bring to a boil and add in ingredients [C]. Season with salt and chicken stock, then serve with chicken.
If you’re pressed for time with pre-Chinese New Year deadlines or decorating the house for the festivities, the Salt-Baked Chicken is also available for take-away and dine-in, for RM68.80 nett per bird. Order at least three days in advance, from now until the last day of Chinese New Year (19 Feb 2019)!*, by calling 03-2246 2888.
To check out the Chef’s other tasty CNY dishes, visit The VE Hotel & Residence, Bangsar South.
*Last order date: 16 Feb 2019